Current challenges and future opportunities of phage therapy

Diana P. Pires, Ana Rita Costa, Graça Pinto, Luciana Meneses, Joana Azeredo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleScientificpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


Antibiotic resistance is a major public health challenge worldwide, whose implications for global health might be devastating if novel antibacterial strategies are not quickly developed. As natural predators of bacteria, (bacterio)phages may play an essential role in escaping such a dreadful future. The rising problem of antibiotic resistance has revived the interest in phage therapy and important developments have been achieved over the last years. But where do we stand today and what can we expect from phage therapy in the future? This is the question we set to answer in this review. Here, we scour the outcomes of human phage therapy clinical trials and case reports, and address the major barriers that stand in the way of using phages in clinical settings. We particularly address the potential of phage resistance to hinder phage therapy and discuss future avenues to explore the full capacity of phage therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)684-700
JournalFEMS Microbiology Reviews
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Accepted Author Manuscript


  • clinical trials
  • One-Health
  • phage cocktails
  • phage engineering
  • phage resistance
  • regulatory framework


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